Kate Garraway shares heartbreaking update as husband battles COVID-19

‘He’s still alive so there is hope’: Kate Garraway reveals husband Derek Draper is ‘in a deeply critical condition and is very ill’ as he fights for his life in a coma amid coronavirus battle

  • The presenter, 52, updated fans through her Club Garraway Wellbeing Website
  • Kate said her husband Derek remains in a ‘deeply critical condition and is very ill’
  • Derek has been in a coma after being rushed to hospital with coronavirus earlier this month
  • Kate went onto praise NHS staff for their ongoing care of Derek, and thanked her fans for their messages of support
  • Her GMB co-host Ben Shephard revealed on Friday that Kate had been playing music to her husband as he continues to fight for his life 
  • The TV presenter and Derek have been married for 14 years and he is best known for his career as a lobbyist before retraining as a psychotherapist 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Kate Garraway has revealed she’s having ‘the hardest time of her life’ as her husband Derek Draper continues to fight for his life after contracting coronavirus.

The Good Morning Britain presenter, 52, shared another heartbreaking update with fans on her Club Garraway Wellbeing website, as she thanked them for their messages of support.

Kate went onto praise NHS staff for their incredible care of her husband as he remains in a ‘deeply critical condition.’

Difficult: Kate Garraway has revealed she’s having ‘the hardest time of her life’ as her husband Derek Draper continues to battle coronavirus (pictured in December 2019)

Kate wrote: ‘You may have seen over the last few week that my husband Derek has been seriously ill in hospital with COVID-19. 

‘I am afraid that he remains in a deeply critical condition and is very ill, but he’s still alive so there is hope.

‘It remains an extremely worrying time for us all and the last couple of weeks have been the hardest of my life.

Kate went onto once again praise NHS staff for their incredible work caring for her husband, and thanked her fans for sending their own well wishes.

Challenges: The presenter shared an update with fans on her blog, explaining Derek remains in a ‘deeply critical condition’ and praising NHS staff for their care (pictured in 2010)

She added: ‘From the bottom of my heart a billion thank yous to the extraordinary NHS workers whose skills, dedication and downright guts in the face of so much personal risk, are keeping my Derek alive, just as they are for thousands of other COVID patients

‘Sending so much love and support to the thousands who have had that hope for their loved ones stolen by this hideous disease. You are not alone and I hope that helps give you strength to withstand the torture of grief.

‘I wanted to send a huge thank you to all of you who have sent me such a wonderful messages wishing Derek well. It has meant the world to me.

‘I am sorry I have not been able to reply to them individually, as I am sure you will understand that I am focusing on my family and Derek right now.’ 

On Friday Good Morning Britain host Ben Shephard shared another update on Derek’s condition on behalf of his colleague Kate.

The previous evening Kate had written in a post about her husband: ‘He is still critically ill in intensive care, but where there is life there is hope’.

Announcement: On Friday Good Morning Britain host Ben Shephard shared another update on Derek’s condition on behalf of his colleague Kate

Speaking further about the former Blair adviser’s condition, Ben revealed to audiences: ‘She’s been able to speak with Derek in the evenings, in a coma. She’s been able to share music with him, talk to him.’

Ben continued: ‘She’s been able to talk to him, just to support him. A bit of reassurance [to him] hearing her voice.’

Kate also sent her thanks, via the show, to fans who have sent messages of support and admitted they have been a great source of comfort for her.  

He said: ‘She said she’s passed on the messages you’ve sent to her along to Derek as well so he’s getting a sense of the support and positivity coming from all of you… 

‘She can’t respond to everybody but in quieter moments when she has 10 minutes, she can scroll through and the support she’s getting from them is really helping… It’s really tough. It’s really tough because as she said he is critically, critically ill.’ 

Showing thanks: Kate’s daughter Darcey, 14, and son William, 10, joined her to applaud the work of the NHS on Thursday evening

Emotional: The TV personality showered praise on the NHS for caring for her husband and thousands others across the country

Kate paid tribute to NHS staff as she posted a video of her family applauding the carers outside her home. She panned the camera over her daughter Darcey, 14, and son William, 10, during the emotional moment.

She wrote: ‘Another emotional #clapforcarers & never has it been more needed. If this pandemic #lockdown is dragging on for us, imagine what it is like for them. 

‘Shift after endlessly long shift , bravely going to work, to battle the virus and give our loved ones a chance. 

‘None of those keeping my Derek alive have ever made me feel it’s a chore, they want to win this as much as I want them to, but it must be so hard.’ 

Heartbreak: Last week Ben Shephard revealed he has ‘very ill’ family members as he sent his love to Kate and her family on Good Morning Britain

Last week Ben Shephard shared Kate’s latest social media update with fans as her husband remains in hospital with COVID-19.

The presenter himself also admitted he had ‘very ill’ family members during the pandemic, during his appearance on Good Morning Britain.   

Ben, who was presenting alongside Ranvir Singh, said: ‘Any of you are asking about Kate Garraway’s husband Derek because many of you know he is in hospital, well Kate posted this on Instagram.’

He said: ‘And to all of you out there that are going through something like that. It is heartbreaking, I’ve got family members that are very ill at the moment as well, and people that I know and friends that have lost friends and family’

Reading Kate’s heartbreaking message where she thanked the NHS staff members for ‘keeping her husband alive’ Ben said:  ‘So we are sending all our love and thoughts to Kate, Darcey and Billy and of course Derek. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

‘And to all of you out there that are going through something like that. It is heartbreaking, I’ve got family members that are very ill at the moment as well, and people that I know and friends that have lost friends and family. 

The supportive message came hours after Kate, 52, took to Instagram to update fans on her husband’s health as she joined the nation in clapping for NHS staff.

Kate went onto praise NHS workers for ‘keeping her husband alive’ during the pandemic, and also thanked her neighbours for their own kind gestures, which included delivering meals for her family.  

There for you:  Reading Kate’s message where she thanked the NHS staff members for ‘keeping her husband alive’ Ben said: ‘So we are sending all our love and thoughts to Kate, Darcey and Billy and of course Derek. We’re keeping our fingers crossed (pictured in January 2019)

Kate took to Instagram to share a video of the fireworks set off by her neighbours in honour of NHS staff, as the nation came together once again to ‘Clap For Carers.’

The star explained her husband was still battling the deadly virus COVID-19, and also praised neighbours for their own offers of help.

She wrote: ‘From the bottom of my heart a billion thank yous to the extraordinary #nhsworkers whose skills, dedication and downright guts in the face of so much personal risk, are keeping my Derek alive, just as they are doing for thousands of covid patients.   

‘I’m afraid he is still in a deeply critical condition, but he is still here, which means there is hope. Sending so much love and support to the thousands who have had that hope for their loved ones stolen by this hideous disease. 

Hard times: Good Morning Britain presenter Kate, 52, took to Instagram to update fans on her husband’s health as she joined the nation in clapping for NHS staff on Thursday

‘You are not alone and I hope that helps give you strength to withstand the torture of grief. 

‘Thank you, too, to my own little band of ‘key workers’, the neighbours who let off fireworks tonight for the #nhs, gave the Easter bunny a helping hand to make life feel a bit more normal for Darcey & Billy, those who have dropped off food, and friends family and all of you who have sent messages of love and support. It’s such a comfort.’  

Kate then affirmed that the nation must remain united to make it through the devastating pandemic, saying: ‘We must all stand together.’

Last week a spokesperson for Kate confirmed to MailOnline that Derek had been rushed to intensive care after contracting coronavirus.

Important: In her post Kate shared a video of fireworks set off by her neighbours during the applause for NHS staff, as she praised them for their own offers of help during the crisis

They told MailOnline: ‘Kate’s husband, Derek Draper, has been taken to hospital and is being treated in intensive care with a confirmed case of COVID-19. He was admitted on Monday and has since tested positive for the virus. 

‘Kate, hasn’t been tested, however she has also been displaying mild symptoms, also since Monday, and as a result has been on strict isolation with her children at home.’        

On last Friday’s Good Morning Britain, Ben read out a message from Kate on her husband’s condition, saying it continued to be an ‘excruciatingly worrying time,’ as he battled the ‘horrific’ virus.

It said: ‘Derek remains in intensive care and is still very ill. I’m afraid it remains an excruciatingly worrying time.

‘The NHS team that have been working on him have been extraordinary and I know its only their professionalism, dedication and bravery that has kept Derek with us so far. I also know that they are working just as hard on all the patients in their care.

Worrying: A spokesperson for Kate confirmed to MailOnline earlier this month that Derek had been admitted to hospital after contracting COVID-19 (pictured December 2019)

‘It’s hard to find the right words because thank you alone just doesn’t seem enough but I do thank them with all my heart as I know Derek would if he could.

‘I would like to thank everyone who has sent messages of support. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to respond to them, but I’m sure you’ll understand I’m doing everything I can to focus on Derek right now.  

‘However in quieter moments I’m seeing them and they are so comforting and wonderful to read.

Brave: The mother-of-two previously said she was suffering from ‘mild symptoms,’ but had not been tested for COVID-19, and was isolating at home (pictured with Derek in December 2019)

‘I’m very aware I’m not the only one going through this torture, there are thousands of families everywhere are worried about their loved ones and hundreds more every day too that are having to deal with the worst news that their loved ones have been taken by this horrific virus.

‘I want to send a message of love and support to all of you going through this you are not alone we must all stand together and support one another and I’m praying to be able to talk with you with some positive news shortly. Lots of love, Kate.’  

Last month, Kate voiced her fears on Good Morning Britain after meeting with Prince Charles before he tested positive for coronavirus.

She spoke about their encounter live on air, revealing that the pair had got ‘relatively close’ at the Prince’s Trust Awards on March 11. 

Way back when: Derek is best-known for his career as a former lobbyist (pictured in 2009)

Kate’s meeting with Prince Charles  

Fears that Kate could have contracted coronavirus from Prince Charles have been ruled out. 

The ITV presenter met Prince Charles at an event on March 11, but began displaying symptoms on Monday, which is beyond the two-week incubation period. 

The ‘incubation period’ means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. 

Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days. 

Derek is best-known for his career as a former lobbyist. During his time as a political adviser he was embroiled in two political scandals – 1998’s Lobbygate and in 2009 a scandal surrounding LabourList, the website he edited.

He went on to write two books – Blair’s 100 Days and Life Support – before retraining as a psychotherapist. 

Kate and Derek have been married for 14 years, with the former lobbyist cheering his wife on for the duration of her stint on I’m A Celebrity last year, he flew out to Australia with their two children to meet her. 

The couple, who wed in September 2005, have previously discussed their union, with Derek admitting that he feared she was ‘a high-maintenance TV bimbo’. 

Following her stint on I’m A Celebrity, the couple were planning to renew their vows in the coming months. 

The happy couple: Derek and Kate pictured in 2008

Kate, who was married to Ian Rumsey from 1998 to 2002, met Derek when they were set up by mutual friend, then-political editor of GMTV Gloria De Piero. 

The I’m A Celeb star told The Times: ‘One day, as the sun was rising, she said, ‘I’m having an epiphany. You and Derek Draper.’ I was, like, ‘Who?’

‘Derek had just moved back from America, having left politics and retrained as a psychotherapist, and she thought we’d be perfect for each other…

‘She set up drinks with a group of people at Claridge’s. Derek arrived thinking it was a date and that I was being incredibly cool by ignoring him.’

Derek then admitted he was relieved he went on the date as Kate dispelled all the myths he believed of dating a TV personality. 

Kate’s GMB co-star Piers Morgan has previously spoken about Derek as they used to butt heads when he was a press chief for Labour and Piers was editor of the Daily Mirror. 

Family: Former Blair adviser M, 52, pictured with their two children Darcey, 14, and William (Bill), ten, in November


What is the coronavirus? 

A coronavirus is a type of virus which can cause illness in animals and people. Viruses break into cells inside their host and use them to reproduce itself and disrupt the body’s normal functions. Coronaviruses are named after the Latin word ‘corona’, which means crown, because they are encased by a spiked shell which resembles a royal crown.

The coronavirus from Wuhan is one which has never been seen before this outbreak. It has been named SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. The name stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2.

Experts say the bug, which has killed around one in 50 patients since the outbreak began in December, is a ‘sister’ of the SARS illness which hit China in 2002, so has been named after it.

The disease that the virus causes has been named COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019.

Dr Helena Maier, from the Pirbright Institute, said: ‘Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that infect a wide range of different species including humans, cattle, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats and wild animals. 

‘Until this new coronavirus was identified, there were only six different coronaviruses known to infect humans. Four of these cause a mild common cold-type illness, but since 2002 there has been the emergence of two new coronaviruses that can infect humans and result in more severe disease (Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses). 

‘Coronaviruses are known to be able to occasionally jump from one species to another and that is what happened in the case of SARS, MERS and the new coronavirus. The animal origin of the new coronavirus is not yet known.’ 

The first human cases were publicly reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where approximately 11million people live, after medics first started publicly reporting infections on December 31.

By January 8, 59 suspected cases had been reported and seven people were in critical condition. Tests were developed for the new virus and recorded cases started to surge.

The first person died that week and, by January 16, two were dead and 41 cases were confirmed. The next day, scientists predicted that 1,700 people had become infected, possibly up to 7,000. 

Where does the virus come from?

According to scientists, the virus almost certainly came from bats. Coronaviruses in general tend to originate in animals – the similar SARS and MERS viruses are believed to have originated in civet cats and camels, respectively.

The first cases of COVID-19 came from people visiting or working in a live animal market in Wuhan, which has since been closed down for investigation.

Although the market is officially a seafood market, other dead and living animals were being sold there, including wolf cubs, salamanders, snakes, peacocks, porcupines and camel meat. 

A study by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, published in February 2020 in the scientific journal Nature, found that the genetic make-up virus samples found in patients in China is 96 per cent identical to a coronavirus they found in bats.

However, there were not many bats at the market so scientists say it was likely there was an animal which acted as a middle-man, contracting it from a bat before then transmitting it to a human. It has not yet been confirmed what type of animal this was.

Dr Michael Skinner, a virologist at Imperial College London, was not involved with the research but said: ‘The discovery definitely places the origin of nCoV in bats in China.

‘We still do not know whether another species served as an intermediate host to amplify the virus, and possibly even to bring it to the market, nor what species that host might have been.’  

So far the fatalities are quite low. Why are health experts so worried about it? 

Experts say the international community is concerned about the virus because so little is known about it and it appears to be spreading quickly.

It is similar to SARS, which infected 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 in an outbreak in Asia in 2003, in that it is a type of coronavirus which infects humans’ lungs. It is less deadly than SARS, however, which killed around one in 10 people, compared to approximately one in 50 for COVID-19.

Another reason for concern is that nobody has any immunity to the virus because they’ve never encountered it before. This means it may be able to cause more damage than viruses we come across often, like the flu or common cold.

Speaking at a briefing in January, Oxford University professor, Dr Peter Horby, said: ‘Novel viruses can spread much faster through the population than viruses which circulate all the time because we have no immunity to them.

‘Most seasonal flu viruses have a case fatality rate of less than one in 1,000 people. Here we’re talking about a virus where we don’t understand fully the severity spectrum but it’s possible the case fatality rate could be as high as two per cent.’

If the death rate is truly two per cent, that means two out of every 100 patients who get it will die. 

‘My feeling is it’s lower,’ Dr Horby added. ‘We’re probably missing this iceberg of milder cases. But that’s the current circumstance we’re in.

‘Two per cent case fatality rate is comparable to the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 so it is a significant concern globally.’

How does the virus spread?

The illness can spread between people just through coughs and sneezes, making it an extremely contagious infection. And it may also spread even before someone has symptoms.

It is believed to travel in the saliva and even through water in the eyes, therefore close contact, kissing, and sharing cutlery or utensils are all risky. It can also live on surfaces, such as plastic and steel, for up to 72 hours, meaning people can catch it by touching contaminated surfaces.

Originally, people were thought to be catching it from a live animal market in Wuhan city. But cases soon began to emerge in people who had never been there, which forced medics to realise it was spreading from person to person. 

What does the virus do to you? What are the symptoms?

Once someone has caught the COVID-19 virus it may take between two and 14 days, or even longer, for them to show any symptoms – but they may still be contagious during this time.

If and when they do become ill, typical signs include a runny nose, a cough, sore throat and a fever (high temperature). The vast majority of patients will recover from these without any issues, and many will need no medical help at all.

In a small group of patients, who seem mainly to be the elderly or those with long-term illnesses, it can lead to pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection in which the insides of the lungs swell up and fill with fluid. It makes it increasingly difficult to breathe and, if left untreated, can be fatal and suffocate people.

Figures are showing that young children do not seem to be particularly badly affected by the virus, which they say is peculiar considering their susceptibility to flu, but it is not clear why. 

What have genetic tests revealed about the virus? 

Scientists in China have recorded the genetic sequences of around 19 strains of the virus and released them to experts working around the world. 

This allows others to study them, develop tests and potentially look into treating the illness they cause.   

Examinations have revealed the coronavirus did not change much – changing is known as mutating – much during the early stages of its spread.

However, the director-general of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, said the virus was mutating and adapting as it spread through people.

This means efforts to study the virus and to potentially control it may be made extra difficult because the virus might look different every time scientists analyse it.   

More study may be able to reveal whether the virus first infected a small number of people then change and spread from them, or whether there were various versions of the virus coming from animals which have developed separately.

How dangerous is the virus?  

The virus has a death rate of around two per cent. This is a similar death rate to the Spanish Flu outbreak which, in 1918, went on to kill around 50million people.

Experts have been conflicted since the beginning of the outbreak about whether the true number of people who are infected is significantly higher than the official numbers of recorded cases. Some people are expected to have such mild symptoms that they never even realise they are ill unless they’re tested, so only the more serious cases get discovered, making the death toll seem higher than it really is.

However, an investigation into government surveillance in China said it had found no reason to believe this was true.

Dr Bruce Aylward, a World Health Organization official who went on a mission to China, said there was no evidence that figures were only showing the tip of the iceberg, and said recording appeared to be accurate, Stat News reported.

Can the virus be cured? 

The COVID-19 virus cannot be cured and it is proving difficult to contain.

Antibiotics do not work against viruses, so they are out of the question. Antiviral drugs can work, but the process of understanding a virus then developing and producing drugs to treat it would take years and huge amounts of money.

No vaccine exists for the coronavirus yet and it’s not likely one will be developed in time to be of any use in this outbreak, for similar reasons to the above.

The National Institutes of Health in the US, and Baylor University in Waco, Texas, say they are working on a vaccine based on what they know about coronaviruses in general, using information from the SARS outbreak. But this may take a year or more to develop, according to Pharmaceutical Technology.

Currently, governments and health authorities are working to contain the virus and to care for patients who are sick and stop them infecting other people.

People who catch the illness are being quarantined in hospitals, where their symptoms can be treated and they will be away from the uninfected public.

And airports around the world are putting in place screening measures such as having doctors on-site, taking people’s temperatures to check for fevers and using thermal screening to spot those who might be ill (infection causes a raised temperature).

However, it can take weeks for symptoms to appear, so there is only a small likelihood that patients will be spotted up in an airport.

Is this outbreak an epidemic or a pandemic?   

The outbreak was declared a pandemic on March 11. A pandemic is defined by the World Health Organization as the ‘worldwide spread of a new disease’. 

Previously, the UN agency said most cases outside of Hubei had been ‘spillover’ from the epicentre, so the disease wasn’t actually spreading actively around the world.

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